AMD employee claims Nvidia’s Maxwell GPUs are “utterly incapable” of performing Async Compute


The PR battle between AMD and Nvidia wages on, as a Reddit verified AMD employee has now weighed in on the statements from an Oxide Games developer, who originally claimed that Nivida’s Maxwell GPU architecture doesn’t feature native support for Async Compute. Interestingly, AMD’s representative echoes the same sentiments in his Reddit post, claiming that Nvidia’s latest Maxwell GPU architecture is “utterly incapable” of performing asynchronous compute without heavy reliance on “slow” context switching between graphics and compute.


The full statement can be seen below.

Oxide effectively summarized my thoughts on the matter. NVIDIA claims “full support” for DX12, but conveniently ignores that Maxwell is utterly incapable of performing asynchronous compute without heavy reliance on slow context switching.

GCN has supported async shading since its inception, and it did so because we hoped and expected that gaming would lean into these workloads heavily. Mantle, Vulkan and DX12 all do. The consoles do (with gusto). PC games are chock full of compute-driven effects.

If memory serves, GCN has higher FLOPS/mm2 than any other architecture, and GCN is once again showing its prowess when utilized with common-sense workloads that are appropriate for the design of the architecture.

According to the AMD representative, async shading has been a leading feature of the GPU manufacturer’s GCN architecture since its inception. AMD’s own Mantle and Vulkan, as well as DirectX 12 now, all lean heavily towards such workloads. By extension, the GCN based current-generation consoles i.e. PS4 and Xbox One, are also capable of performing Async Compute.

In response to a question regarding Nvidia’s silence on the matter, the AMD representative sarcastically reiterated Nvidia’s PR statement.

Because we haven’t seen real benchmarks yet!

The AMD employee went on to say that, in terms of real world applications, the benefits of Async Compute will take time to pay off. That said, he claims that results are already beginning to surface, pointing towards Oxide Games’ Ashes of the Singularity.

Whether all of this is actually true or just PR talk remains to be seen. A likely scenario could be that Async Compute simply doesn’t benefit Nvidia’s latest Maxwell architecture in the same way that it does in GCN’s case. Either way, more elaborate information is required before coming to a conclusion on the matter.

Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

  • Joshua Pirog

    Now mind you, I currently own an AMD 290x 4GB, so this isn’t some nVidia fan boy talking. I also (unfortunately) am still on a FX-8350. Having said that, this AMD rep has a lot of nerve talking trash about a company that has buried them year in and year out since the 2002/2003 9700 Pro/9800 Pro 128MB. Talk about taking a small win and running with it lol. If AMD didn’t score the contracts to make the chips in both new consoles I’m wondering if they’d even still be in business. nVidia is garbage, don’t get me wrong, their “optimized” effects are resource hogs that purposely try and force you into buying new cards. But I’d like to think AMD could chock up a few more wins before they start talking trash.